One evening during a stay at the Hollyhock retreat centre on Cortes Island, B.C., while we waited for the dinner gong to ring, each guest was doing a little “show and tell” on the books that we’d been reading. I passed around my copy of Anik See’s Saudade (Coach House), a collection of ten essays on “The Possibilities of Place,” and before anyone had read a single word of it, the book was a hit for its cover design alone: French flaps, deep purple cover stock printed with silver ink, embossed title. A colophon points out that Saudade’s design is also the work of See, which makes sense once you learn that she has operated a small letterpress for many years, and that one of the book’s essays, “Squeezing a Spiral into a Square Hole,” discusses the work of the master typographer Robert Bringhurst. Most of these essays are rooted in See’s travels—to Sri Lanka and Tbilisi, to Amsterdam (where she now lives) and the mountains of B.C.—but they are not travelogue; they express a persistent desire to get beneath the surface of a place. The title is a Portuguese word that describes “a feeling of longing for something that is now gone.” That longing is evident in the reading of Saudade, for in each of the book’s varied locales we sense See as a thoughtful, keen-eyed observer, but one who is always aware that there is so much more to see.